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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Peru reduces purchase of COVID-19 tests amid the arrival of omicron

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Before the arrival of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) It has asked that in addition to reducing inequality in access to vaccines, the necessary diagnostic tests and treatments be offered in an equitable manner.

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As explained in a press conference, the evidence of PCR (molecular) that have been used do detect infection by this new variant. Therefore, countries like United Statess have opted for your bulk purchase. On Tuesday, December 21, its president Joe Biden announced the purchase of 500 million tests to face the advance of the variant in that country.

“One of the next crises in terms of supply will be the rapid tests. I am not yet mapping the PCR, but both tests are very important tools. Is Peru already thinking about that? “, he questioned in a discussion about the Omicron variant Angela uyen, Advisor of Policies and Defense of the Health of Doctors without borders.

The Data Journalism Unit analyzed the test purchases registered in the Electronic State Procurement System (SEACE) and in Peru Shopping, and found that during the current administration the monthly average invested in the purchase of diagnostic tests and supplies such as reagents was reduced. The government of Martin Vizcarra it invested an average of 12 million soles in tests; the one of Francisco Sagasti more than 20 million soles, and that of Pedro Castillo it barely invests 5.2 million.

Although, during 2021 only 45% of the investment in 2020 was invested in diagnostic tests, the largest purchase has been made in molecular tests: more than 56 million. However, only 16% of this investment has been made by the current management. While the Sagasti government invested 6.7 million a month in these tests, the Castillo government invests 2.3 million.

Despite this, the national government is the one that has invested the most in molecular tests: more than 9 million in total. For his part, during the last administration, led by Mario Carhuapoma, the Social Health Insurance (EsSalud) registers an average of 66 thousand soles less per month than invested in the management of Fiorella molinelli in the purchase of tests and kits for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.

Doctors without tests

Despite the importance of taking diagnostic tests, especially in health personnel, the Peruvian Medical College (CMP) He warned that tests taken from doctors have been reduced.

According to figures registered by this union, in November 2020 11,846 tests were carried out, while during November 2021 only 5,643 were taken, 52% less than in the previous year. In total, between July and November 2020, 137,268 tests were carried out on doctors, while this year, in the same period, only 25,213 were carried out, 18% of those taken the previous year.

“We are concerned that we should be further tested when exposed to Omicron. However, the figures show a considerable reduction. Despite the increase in cases, taking tests no longer seems to matter “, assured the doctor Eden Galan of the CMP.

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